I spent the weekend building the chicken coup. The ladies are getting too big and need to have some room to roam. Vertical beams are sunken to 18″ with a concrete footer. The max height is 6’6″, but tapers to 6’3″ at the rear. I planned on originally roofing the top, but now think we will just put wire on it for now. If it rains, they will have access to the inside of the shed. This will also help keep the structure around during a hurricane. If I put a roof on it, it might just sail away.
I did not get as far as I wanted to since it is V-day weekend and Mrs. SNH’s birthday weekend. This is always a very busy time of year.
Ok, sorry, had to borrow that from that insurance brand. Really, once we got rid of the tree, we were able to install a fence and keep Cocoa the wonderdog out. She supervised the construction of the fence. The garden area is shaping up for some planting this year.
Mrs. SNH did a great job of clearing out some of the old homeowner’s plantings around the house. This is making way for us to get the back yard in shape. I was planning to chop down the large Pine in the rear, but decided it would be better to talk to a Professional before I take that one on.
If you are planning to do your own tree removal, please check out a few safety videos on felling trees. There are a lot of things that could go wrong. Better to pay a pro if you are in a tight spot and haven’t done it before.
We got a few of the cool season veggies started in some plant pots. We placed them on the roof of the shed that is still standing. This avoids the rather nosey wonderdog from interrupting the young plants. We started with Broccoli, Snow Peas and Romaine lettuce.
Last night was fun too, we ordered 2 Orange trees from backyardcitrustrees.com. I staggered the variety with a Valencia and Navel to give a slightly different flavor and slightly different harvest time. It will take about 3 years before we see the ‘fruits of our labor’ but well worth the free shipping and anticipation of our fresh citrus. The last little bit to round out our trees for the property will likely be an avocado and peach.
Lastly, we decided to relieve the stress of vacuuming up after the cats and dog. We purchased a Shark Robotic Vacuum and put it to work. We named her Mrs. Patmore after the cook in Downton Abbey. I know, pretty unimpressive if you already have one of these doing the chores for you, but it truly is a time saver allowing you to do more productive things.
Good Afternoon SNH’ers. The little SNH’ers are looking forward to Santa Clause making a visit and I am out prepping parts of the garden. Here are the highlights:
* Hose system is partially extended to the garden area. I’ll be finished with the extension tomorrow. I cant wait to actually have water on the other side of the house.
* The Lemon/Lime combo tree is planted in the ground about 10 feet outside of the edge of the house. This should give enough room when it is full size.
* I’ll be cementing the first permanent post of the fence system tomorrow. I also fixed a hole in the fence where our pug friend was popping in to visit Cocoa the wonderdog. While our pug friend is nice, he should stay in his own yard.
* The banana tree has been trimmed of a few of its dying leaves which pulled down our ISP cable into the house.
Other smart tips for December:
Get your investments in order before the end of the year in case you need to make plans for filing taxes.
Re-evaluate your portfolio’s and talk with your financial advisor about the upcoming year.
Don’t leave your iPhone on the hood of your car. Apparently when you drive, they fall off! Who knew. Mrs. SNH wont be doing that one again!
I do love the fall and miss the days when I could go to the local park in Oregon and grab a nice harvest of apples and walnuts for free. I would then fill the house with the cinnamon infused scent of cockpot apple butter and enjoy a great treat after it had cooked down to a jelly like spread. Here are a few pictures from those fall Oregon days.
Meanwhile in the present, this rainy Florida Saturday yielded a surprise when I went to check on the plants. I cannot believe it is near Thanksgiving and there are still tomatoes producing in one of my garden bins. We kept one of the roma plants when we moved to the new house. It has continued to grow. The Florida weather has held up and the plant now has about 5 tomatoes on it. It would be great to harvest them before Christmas! Other plants that seem to keep on ticking are kale, blackberries (which were once just a small twig) and the Seminole pumpkin which is now about 8 feet long with several flowers on it.
I also have a Moringa tree that we cut down when we first moved in. It is back to a height of about 10’. We cannot kill it! Moringa is widely hailed as a miracle tree for its edible leaves. We may just decide to manage it and if you are a local and want a cutting for your own yard, feel free to contact me. I will gladly propagate for you. Here is a picture after we cut it down in August. I’ll try to get a pic up this weekend of how it has grown.
Lastly, I wanted to report that the first shed is fully removed so we can start building our raised beds for the spring season on this portion of the yard. Cocoa the wonderdog has to be fenced off first, so that project will take me through December to properly section off the yard. I did manage to put up part of field fence during a lunch break, but it cannot compete with the size that we now have available. I will solidify the sketchy back fence by using some 4×4’s with a concrete footer and extend a 4′ high section to where the field fencing is now (just in front of the Moringa tree shown in the picture above. I am still debating about how I would like the gate. I think a nice arbor would make a great entrance. Maybe my ambitions are bigger that my capacity.
I am taking a much needed vacation from professional life for the next week and going to focus a bit on our new property. The little SNHers are headed back to school on Tuesday. Our experiment with virtual school did not go well as our children are craving the interaction of real teachers. The online scenario also fails on its face when #3 is entering her first year of Kindergarten. It is surprisingly difficult to get her to follow the online instruction and be at home with so many distractions.
I am planning to work on these items:
* Take down 1 of the metal sheds.
* Fix a curtain issue where the new cats threaten its ability to stay on the wall on an hourly basis.
* Fertilize the blueberries for the fall season.
* Maybe get a few more plants started now that things are settling in.